Megyn Kelly, host of Megyn Kelly Today on NBC, is in talks with NBC News about departing the network, according to published reports. Kelly’s legal representatives are scheduled to meet with NBC News executives Friday. A source told NBC News, “Conversations have already started about Megyn's exit from the network.” The source said it is “extremely unlikely” Kelly will stay with NBC.
NBC News did not comment.
Kelly got in trouble after defending the use of blackface in Halloween costumes during her program Tuesday. “Because truly you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was OK as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character,” she said.
Kelly also said that “political correctness has gone amok.”
She later apologized for defending blackface. “I’m Megyn Kelly and I want to begin with two words: I’m sorry," she said on her program Wednesday. "I learned that given the history of blackface being used in awful ways by racists in this country, it is not OK for that to be part of any costume, Halloween or otherwise."
NBC News went with repeats of Megyn Kelly Today Thursday and Friday, an uncommon move for a news program.
It said Megyn Kelly Today will not return. "Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other Today co-anchors," said NBC News in a statement Friday.
Kelly came on board at NBC in January 2017 after a long run hosting a primetime show on Fox News Channel. Her initial assignments were the 9 a.m. show, a Sunday night newsmag and pitching in on breaking news.
She is paid $23 million a year in a three-year deal.
Published reports say Kelly split with her talent agency, CAA, and hired attorney Bryan Freedman to represent her in the NBC News meetings.
NBC News chair Andy Lack addressed the issue at a company town hall meeting. "There is no other way to put this: I condemn those remarks,” he said. “There is no place on our air or in this workplace for them.”
Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.
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